I am sure I have damaged my darling son in some way. I just know that he will hate me when he grows up to be a man (sniff). On Christmas morning my husband’s parents invited all of the staff of their estate to the house for drinks (one small sherry and a Ritz cracker) as per tradition. Due to the recent addition of their own grandchildren, in a separate room they provided cheesy puffs, Asda cola and music so that the little people to dance and amuse themselves. Max became very emotional when he observed the children dancing and he fled to the nursery.
I mopped my darling boy’s eyes and sat listening to his tale of woe. Apparently one of his little school chums (Felix) has told my perfect son that big boys don’t dance as “it is too girlie.” My munchkin was clearly very confused.
“I simply don’t know what to do for the best,” he said.
I popped on the TV as I knew Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was on TV. Dick Van Dyke was skipping and jumping about without a care in the world, singing “Me Old Bamboo.” Oh how we laughed.
“Diddums” I said, “why your father was dancing just like that the night we met. Grown up men can only get themselves girlfriends if they are good at dancing,” well how was I to know that he would take me so seriously?
My perfect poppet took my words literally and spent the rest of the morning practicing dancing on the veranda with an old fishing pole. He really is acquiring quite a skill! He wants to be just like his papa (ha!).
I am terribly proud of him you know. I just pray that he tones down the dance moves before his first school disco or our future relationship shall be doomed...
Sunday, 30 December 2007
I am sure I have damaged my darling son in some way. I just know that he will hate me when he grows up to be a man (sniff). On Christmas morning my husband’s parents invited all of the staff of their estate to the house for drinks (one small sherry and a Ritz cracker) as per tradition. Due to the recent addition of their own grandchildren, in a separate room they provided cheesy puffs, Asda cola and music so that the little people to dance and amuse themselves. Max became very emotional when he observed the children dancing and he fled to the nursery.
Friday, 28 December 2007
Is it just my darling munchkins or are your dear poppets never happy with what they get either? Grrr...
Ana (our perfect au pair) gave birth to a bouncing baby boy (3.24 kg) on Christmas morning at 08.10am. Mother and infant "Brad" are doing very well, the cherub is the image of his Samoan daddy (the children's trampoline instructor!!!) - THANK GOD FOR THAT!
Saturday, 22 December 2007
Perfect Freya blubbed into her Cheerios this morning. The munchkin overheard a news reader lamenting the destruction of the habitat for her special favourite the penguin. She so loved Happy Feet, I fear that she could become quite the Eco Warrior!
"Soon the penguins will have no-where to live," she wailed.
I tried to distract her by changing the subject;
"Have you decided exactly what you would like from Santa dear heart?"
"I would like this, this and this" she bawled. "And this, and this too ..." pointing to a page from The Great Little Trading Company Catalogue that she had been reading under the breakfast table. "And this entire page," drying here eyes.
"Oh my perfect poppet, we must leave some things for the other children. Asking too much for ourselves is not kind, there are those less fortunate than us to consider and they may receive so very little... How will it all fit on Santa's sleigh?" I sang (beginning to panic).
"I would like one of these and all of these too," she continued.
"It really is not good for the environment. We can't have Santa using up all of the earth's resources on your gifts alone now can we sweetie?" I pleaded...
Darling Max could sense my anxiety and came to my support with;
"Freya, it is not good for where the penguins live. For every gift you choose a penguin will die," - shockingly I was so panic stricken by now that I agreed with my super six year old man;
"Yes indeed," I nodded gratefully...
"I shall have just the six gifts in that case," relented perfect Freya, "and that is six each mummy. Six for me and six for Max..."
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Monday, 17 December 2007
Each December I am faced with the same dilemma; what should I purchase for my Monster-in-Law for Christmas? I try so hard to please, but I always meet with disapproval... Over the years she has had a lot to say about my love of premium skin care, so last Christmas I invested in some super Creme de la Mer which I felt sure would convert her to my point of view.
When I enquired of her a couple of weeks into the New Year, how she was enjoying the product Granzilla claimed; "I finished that pot an age ago," which shocked me I must admit. My products last for months.
"My feet soaked that right up, it lasted less than a week," she continued, OHMYGOD!!!
"But Elizabeth it was for your face," I protested...
"I make a point of never reading the claims on the labels of these pretentious pots. It was a moisturiser, and it suited the purpose I found for it," I was crushed.
This year James and I were in New York for a couple of days at the end of October and I found the most perfect gift ever for Granzilla. While shopping in Saks of Fifth Avenue, I was browsing in the dreadfully blingtastic Juicy Couture section while my darling man answered an urgent work related telephone call. Can you believe they sell doggy cashmere hoodies, suit carriers, nail polish and even Pawtection Balm - moisturiser for little doggy feet!
I bought my monster-in-law's gift right there and then. I believe it is premium quality moisturiser, and I so hope that it suits whatever purpose she finds for it!
Sunday, 16 December 2007
While the munchkins were out at a birthday party this afternoon Brenda tumbled in through my front door claiming that she had organised an end to all of my Christmas gift giving woes (I actually completed all of my shopping on-line weeks ago)! Brenda produced what she described as “the ideal Christmas gifts” for my darling boy Max.
I am one of four sisters. My mother was not blessed with boys. She constantly makes the mistake of referring to Max’s action figures as “his dolls” – any mother with
any sense boys will immediately see that she is not endearing herself to big boy Max for this regular faux pas…
Anyhow, Brenda has been to her local Christian shop, and purchased Christian Action Figures for my little man. She has bought him quite a selection. “I actually ordered them months ago” she thrilled. “Sr Kevin had to order them in specially as she didn’t have them in white” – she gushed. “Indeed mother, it would never do for Max to believe that Jesus or The Blessed Virgin were not white Caucasian Europeans – would it?” – Brenda doesn't 'get' irony.
Somehow, looking at these figures this evening, I have an idea that my perfect testosterone fueled boy will indeed enjoy playing with them. I must admit, I imagine my darling will not stick to the biblical version of events. Eve is dressed like Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC and looks altogether much more like a heroine than The Virgin Mary. She looks no fun at all.
Goliath is every inch the obvious hero, and is sure to pound his wimpey opponent David to a pulp before driving off in Max's Tonka Truck. This idea of Brenda's is destined to end in disappointment...
Friday, 14 December 2007
I am really rather emotional this evening. I want to share something. No, really I must be honest. I am genuinely being sincere this evening. This is me.
Other bloggers out there, please tell me, is this the norm?
I received an email last night on the train home (via my Blackberry) from a professional representing a West End department store. She invited me to a prestigious cocktail bar today at lunch time and she then proceeded to ply me with alcohol of the bubbly variety...(OHMYGOD, I wish I had an agent... this is like Babes in the wood!).
I was so flattered that she clearly read my blog, she even knew which tipple I can't resist! I was showered with gifts of prestigious beauty products (each costing in excess of £150 per pot, over a thousand pounds worth of products in total!!!) - and I was offered cash to blog in return!.
Does she not know who my husband is? If I profess to a love of Decleor - it is because it is genuine. I don't need cash you see. Well I do actually, but I have a supply right under my nose... If I enjoy using a particular product and I happen to mention it - it is incidental, IT IS NOT PRODUCT PLACEMENT.
I would like the world to know, I have the skin of a sixteen year old, and I owe it all to a terrific gene pool, a good diet, Eve Lom and Decleor!
They can try to turn my head, to mention another product lines if they like, but they had better be extremely confident about their efficacy before they hand them over to me to sample...
You see, if I consider the product they provide me with to be rubbish - I will most certainly say so.
I am sure that this is happening to lots of bloggers right now, please girls, lets compare experiences?
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
It is bonus time in the City again, and I don't mean at the Clinique counter in Peter Jones! I wonder if I shall have something nice in my stocking this Christmas - if James is generous he might even get something nice in stockings too!
Yesterday I received a lovely sincere email from a dear man requiring gift ideas and suggestions for his "good lady." What a lovely husband! I must admit that it brought a tear to my eye.
"I want something special," he wrote, "I want her to feel pampered and loved. Our life is so busy, our boys are so exuberant."
I immediately thought...buy her something tasteful from Bootles, an Ultimate Spa Therapy Gift Voucher for the Elemis Day spa in Mayfair and send the boys to Winchester (but you must be quick, I believe that the assessments are taking place right now), and then I remembered a gift I once received that made me feel so very special indeed...
I tumbled in the door after an overnight flight from New York to find my pyjamas warming on a radiator, a breakfast tray of muesli and fresh orange juice prepared in the fridge, luxurious oils and fresh towels by the bath, and rose petals and a love note on the bed... my darling man had left the house for work (sigh). It wasn't even my birthday.
The most thoughtful gifts don't cost any money at all. I felt pampered, special, secure... noticed.
This morning I received a further eleven emails from men asking for gift ideas for their wives;
"What should I give her Dulwichmum? She has everything already!"
I don't pretend to know their wives' taste in perfume, or size in underwear. Is there even a branch of Tiffany in North Korea? Why ask me? Oh boys! Why don't you ask your secretary for help? I told James' secretary what I wanted at the end of November - she never lets me down!
Would you like a slice of lemon in that?
Monday, 10 December 2007
James spent at least thirty minutes clowning around in the depths of his dressing room this morning, he rummaged for an age, hopped about on one leg for a time and then lay on the floor with a shoe lace threaded through the eye of the zip before eventually emerging vacuum packed into an old pair of jeans.
"They have shrunk!" he surmised.
"While they were hanging in your closet?" I laughed (he would rather eat his own head than exercise).
Later at my perfect jewel's carol service James stood woodenly down at the back of the church with the other daddies. They all wore big over coats. Situations like these make much more sense since I have gotten a little older.
Men are simply the vainest of creatures...
Saturday, 8 December 2007
I find my own sense of humour terribly entertaining when I have had too much to drink. I know my limit, just one glass of Krug and I must stop - no I really must. I can drink half a bottle of Chablis on a daily basis, but only ever one glass of Champagne.
The other night at James' Christmas party for example, I had two glasses of Champagne and I became terribly giddy. James always says that I get a twinkle in my eye, and he can sense when I am going to cause trouble...
I was introduced to the new, substantially younger, Japanese second wife (grrr) of James' much older German work colleague Martin. She appeared frightfully self assured with her svelte doll sized proportions and raven hair, but James' Christmas party was my show...
"How do you do," I purred.
"How do you find household staff in the UK?," she barked abruptly (what a very strange way to open a conversation!).
"Why? are you looking for work?" I replied innocently.
OHMYGOD. I am so lucky that she didn't scratch my eyes out! Oh how I laughed, as her husband wrestled her out of the marquee. I really shouldn't drink at all...ever.
Thursday, 6 December 2007
My darling man is feeling dreadfully flat. There he sits in his study, his head in his hands - the world of private equity is clearly in an awful state... Or could it simply be that he partied a little too hard at the firm's Christmas party last night?
The evening began on a somber note, the top man's (prrr) speech warned of leaner times, of cut backs, disappointing bonusettes and caution in all regards. The world's financial markets are bracing themselves... (apparently), he then proceeded to launch an orgy of excess the like of which is seldom seen in a democratic country.
I can handle this brand of frugal!
A selection of enormous marquees had been erected in the grounds of The Imperial War Museum which were liberally dusted with real snow for the evening, ice sculptures, a ski slope, ice skating rink, rodeo reindeer, Christmas tree Hoopla,snow boarding simulator, Toyland with Giant Skalextric and casino. All night the Champagne flowed, Kylie Minogue is as thin as a tooth pick and her face is taught and mask like!!! OHMYGOD - could that possibly be Botox?
My feet are killing me today, but you know - I never take things to extremes, not really... Poor James!
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
I have caused all kinds of trouble for myself - I was simply trying to be the best wife I could for darling James... OHMYGOD!
I spied the most perfect cardigan you ever laid eyes on in the window of a local boutique on Park Hall Road, and I tried to walk past but I was rooted to the spot, and then - Elaine reached out one long slender arm and virtually dragged me in! Well, I was powerless to resist, I had just been reading about the slowing economy, dreadful drop in high street sales, imminent job losses... and I so love to play my part in keeping the economy moving. In my own small way, I was actually trying to assist my darling man...
James continues to be obsessed with his frightful economy drive (he is not expecting a very generous bonus), and I sooo hate to lie to him, I could not purchase an item of clothing and hide it in the au pair's wardrobe (again). I have been paying for so many things with cash lately due to the embarrassing new credit card he has issued to me. I decided to cunningly withdraw £250 (the daily maximum allowed) from the bank machine just across the road, and pay a cash deposit off the cardigan.
I enlisted the help of sweet shop keeper Elaine to mark the ticket on the garment down by £250, and this evening I insisted that darling James take a look at the mantle for me when out buying himself a bottle of Claret - as I am being so careful with his pennies. "No more impulse buying for me," I assured him... I need a second opinion (I lied - convinced that he would consider the cardigan a complete bargain and purchase it for me as part of my Christmas gift).
Can you believe that when the loathsome man returned from his shopping expedition he claimed that the cardigan was horrid, and was not worth the ticket price!!! He said it would make me look like Bet Lynch!
I am beside myself with horror. This from a man who buys his underwear in multi-packs from a chain store... What do men know about anything?
The garment is now nestling in the boot of my car as I type...naturally.
Saturday, 1 December 2007
My darling daughter took part in her divine nativity play last week - yes last week, in November... Christmas is indeed arriving earlier and earlier each year. The tiny munchkin gave an outstanding performance, indeed I have been weeping ever since...
Brenda (my mother) attended Freya's production as James was in South Africa. My devout Roman Catholic mother likes to analyze the plot lines of the nativity plays at the munchkins' Church of England schools in order to ensure that my perfect poppets are not poisoned by "damned protestant lies." She really is
an outrageous bigot terribly protective you know.
Freya's role was;
"The very most important part in the whole play," she claimed.
"Are you the baby Jesus my tiny angel?" I enthused...No response. "The blessed Virgin Mary?" I sang inquisitively...No answer. "An Angel?" Freya eventually replied; "No silly mummy, I am a Page of course, the one who carries the gifts for the wise men. What would Christmas be without presents?"
My darling tiny flower is every piece of her mother...
Freya came directly to us in the audience from the stage when the curtain went down and announced "Santa must be coming tonight then"!
"But there are four full weeks until Christmas my angel," I replied (frozen to the spot with shock).
"I want my Butterscotch pony now" she howled. Brenda was horrified.
I blame the schools, my mother agrees. How dare they hold their wretched productions so early. I shall be tortured from now until the big day.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Myself and Vashi (my most super and special chum) and have been agonising about what we should include in our lists for Santa. We both have everything we could ever possibly need (obviously). Indeed, it would be necessary for me to have an extra digit surgically grafted onto my hand in order to accommodate any further diamond encrusted rings. Anne Boleyn was considered a great beauty of her era, and an extra digit never held her back... well not really.
No, no, no, there is such a fine line between looking tastefully loaded and appearing to be a blingtastic moll. I would like to consider myself an up-market version of the late Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis - God forbid that I should end up looking like Victoria Beckham (gasp)!
What should a girl request from Santa this year? This conundrum has been absorbing so much of our emotional energy of late - it really has been such a drain. I have been pondering over one suggestion that darling Vashi has made. She has suggested that we request a course of colonic hydrotherapy treatments.
Apparently an average adult has up to fifteen pounds of "putrefying matter" clinging to the inside of their colon (charming!). One single cleansing irrigation treatment can leave a girl almost a stone lighter, brim full of energy, skin flushed, eyes neon sparkly bright and a renewed ability to absorb all manner of vitalising vitamins, minerals and nutrients! Doesn't it sound terribly exciting? Princess Diana was apparently staunch advocate of the practice of (according to Vashi).
However, I must admit that I am slightly uncomfortable about the actual...er execution of this er... procedure. The thought of it just doesn't 'sit' well with me at all, I so hate for anyone to have anything to do with my gynaecological regions (unless they have provided me with expensive jewelery ...clearly, and even then...) I have had two planned Caesarean sections you know, I am terribly modest. The various web sites use words such as "sphincter", "rectal exam" and "expulsion of gas pockets"...eugh!
One testimonial I came across on the Internet, claimed that a woman who had been a vegetarian for twenty years was assisted to expel half a pork sausage and three chicken nuggets at her first treatment! God only knows what they could find inside me! It really is rather fascinating to consider - perhaps that set of keys I lost from my Volkswagon Golf in 1990, a pram wheel or a 1970's ornamental Spanish donkey? Could my insides really be as congested as an old drain?
Perhaps the sludge which is clinging to my insides extols some protective properties, saving me from the absorption of dangerous toxins, germs and viruses - even OHMYGOD calories!!! Can you imagine how frightful it would be if my bowels began to absorb calories more efficiently??? I could lose a couple of pounds initially and then go on to gain stones. I could end up catching all manner of colds and flu or even become ethanolic at the mere aroma of my favourite tipple? What a frightful thought!
Oh no, colonic lavage is not for me. I shall have some new trinkets instead - the addition of an extra new digit sounds far less invasive...
Monday, 26 November 2007
I really try to discourage my darling poppets from using "outdoor voices" and SCREETCHING THE HOUSE DOWN… But they really like a good SHOUT. They are such energetic little munchkins. Their lungs are still developing you know. I so hate to inhibit their development...
“MUMMY!... MUMMY!... MUMMEEE!!!” Screetches perfect Freya– the windowpanes rattling in their frames.
“What is it sweetie?” I purr calmly.
“Max offended me,” howls tiny tot Freya.
“But you two were playing so nicely, you were building a Lego car together diddums, were you not?” I sing as I catch the foot she is swinging in the direction of her darling brother’s head.
“She called me a big poo mummy,” cries burly boy Max, cowering into a ball, well aware of the power in his sweet infant sister’s foot.
“Oh dear, that is not very nice my little jewel Freya” I soothe, peeling the tiny girl from her big handsome brother's arm as she is about to sink in her teeth .
“Why would you call your beloved favourite brother such a cruel and tasteless name?”
“HE CALLED ME A NAME FIRST,” she howls.
“No I didn’t,” pleads golden boy Max, enormous tears dripping down his handsome cheeks. “I simply said she was good at building Lego, I said she was alert.”
“He said it again Mummy WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH, he called me a lert, so I say he is a poo.”
“Dear angel Freya,” I sing “a lert is not a bad word, it simply means awake” taking the hobbyhorse from her clenched fingers as she begins to swing it in the direction of her favourite brother’s kidneys – she really is so very determined and resourceful indeed.
“NOW YOU ARE CALLING ME A WAKE,” she accuses.
“No sweet flower, awake means not sleeping” I explain in hushed and calm tones as I prize the Wellington boots from my tiny four year old girl’s grasp before she hurls them at her darling big brother.
Eventually the angel calms down, disaster is avoided… on this occasion.
Perfect Freya really is such a passionate tiny poppet. Words cannot describe the emotions I experience each weekend when the au pair is off work, and I have the munchkins all to myself. James is off playing golf and I am at one with my darling dolls.
Aren’t you sooo looking forward to the Christmas holidays?
The munchkins will be off school for a whole month, and Ana our au pair will be on maternity leave! Christmas would just not be the same without lively little poppets about the home, their sweet darling happy faces. Christmas is all about the children, they bring us so much … er… joy (hurrah?).
Peace and goodwill to all men …on bloody golf courses...
Now I shall go and peel my darling cats down from the top of the curtain pelmets before I pop online and order a couple of dozen cases of Chablis for the festive season…
Binge drinking is terribly now darling!
Friday, 23 November 2007
I really adore the dramatisations of Henry the V111, and the casting of Ray Winstone in this role was inspired. But I am sorry Jonathan Rhys-Meyers will never be Henry. I know Nunhead Mum of One quite enjoyed it, but I feel that on this one occasion, she is wrong.
If they must make another costume drama of Henry, could they not be a little more imaginative? I consider it to be a complete waste not to...
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Darling James has been rather perplexed of late. All is not well in Private Equity land... It seems that my super husband's plans to retire by Christmas must be put to one side for the time being. (Hurrah! How can he possibly feel assured that he has earned enough to retire on? Has he no idea how much I could spend before I die?)
He has been insisting that we must live more frugally and even confiscated my prestigious credit card!!! James was rather alarmed by my expenditure during our recent shopping trip to New York - but it was my birthday, what did he expect?
James is such a wise and clever husband... he likes to believe.
He would not like to leave me without a contingency fund however, just for emergencies you understand. He is aware that I hate to carry cash.
James has issued me with a dreadfully embarrassing Glasgow Rangers Football Club credit card! Can you believe it? He doesn't know a thing about football - that vile blue card would even offend my Roman Catholic mother, and she would be happy to use most forms of credit! James knows that I love to use my Black American Express card, he is aware of the cachet if provides for me, I just love to produce it and regard the expression on peoples faces. James is hoping to shame me out of shopping.
My poor deluded man...
Don't panic dear friends... I have discovered this web site! Has he no comprehension of the pleasures to be experienced while shopping on the Internet? I am not even required to leave my
desk house. This directory has provided me with the inspiration to completely re-vamp my knicker drawer this very afternoon - don't you just love natural fibres? I was not forced to show my shameful new credit card to a single soul! Indeed, I have spent so much time and money on the Sheer Luxe web site over the last 72 hours, that the lovely editor has offered me a column!
If God had intended that women should provide for themselves, he would never have invented marriage! I know just how to soothe darling James when he sees the bill.
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Brenda (my mother) saw a film last weekend at a friend's house that made the hair stand up on the back of her neck - or so she said. And then, just this last weekend The UN warned of abrupt and irreversible catastrophe through climate change if we do not take immediate action to reduce carbon emissions. Poor darling mother hasn't slept a wink since as a result (I can't say I am too happy about the thought of this myself).
"Immediate radical action must be taken," she insisted.
Has Brenda decided to turn her washing machine down to 30 degrees, use her tumble dryer less, to bleach her kitchen surfaces less than three times a day, or to use recycled toilet paper? Indeed no!
Brenda arrived this evening with some emergency provisions; Smash, bottled water and a couple of Fray Bentos tinned meat pies. She wafted through my open plan living space, cruised into my utility room and placed her provisions on the floor of what was once the larder (now the wet room).
"From now on you must conserve water and strip wash with a flannel like they did during the war, you have no further use for this wasted space, stock up darling - we are all doomed."
I rather enjoy bottled water, and I am even prepared to admit that I quite like tinned meat pie (shhh... promise me you won't tell a soul), but even Al Gore must admit that the consumption of dried mashed potato and sacrificing one's personal freshness is simply a lifestyle change too far?
I am lighting half a dozen Diptyque scented candles at the very thought!
Saturday, 17 November 2007
My darling chum Vashi has chastised me for not sharing further tales of my recent shopping expedition to New York. I had been savouring the experience, mulling it over in my mind. It really was so very super special, these intimate moments that I shared with James – I should hate to embarrass him by laying out all of our private times for the nation to peruse, we are a married couple after all… James has on occasion accused me of turning us into the Jordan and Peter Andre of Dulwich (the joker!) but then I know that my blog is only read by a couple of dozen people (per hour) and well – where is the harm?
We stayed in a super swishy apartment which my darling husband bought a year ago for an investment. It is rather near central park, and has one of those fabulous green awnings that go right from the door to the kerb. A man with a frock coat and special hat opens the cab door and carries one's shopping – it is just so opulent and perfectly divine. I felt like the queen, admiring the quality of the fabric lined walls in the hall and the Arne Jacobson Egg chairs in the lobby. I can't even begin to imagine what has caused me not to explore New York before!
James has spent a little time at the apartment, and evidence of my lovely man’s presence were all about his bachelor pad. There was an enormous high definition TV almost as big as one wall that was surprisingly a joy to watch! I would never have allowed James to have such an enormous TV in Alleyn Road. But the faces I saw on that TV were so very enormous that I was able to inspect every pore on Victoria Beckhams face, and every line on Teri Hatcher's lid. Even minor imperfections in the application of eyeliner sported by newscasters were exaggerated, and with no opportunity for them to air brush, it was pure joy!!! I felt positively renewed and smug as I inspected my perfect complexion in the mirror on the door of the bathroom cabinet.
James had naturally installed an enormous wine chiller, filled with all manner of wonderful corporate gifts, and a special humidor which stores his cigars. I have insisted that he gets himself one of those super telescopes (everyone has them in New York) so I can spy in people in other apartments - I can't wait!!! He really loves appliances you know.
Opening the door of the apartment was really rather surreal. As the reflective coated windows are from floor to ceiling, and we were on the 38th floor, no-one has any curtains. It felt just like being a pigeon sitting on the ledge of a very high building. From this height, the city was so very similar to the set of a Batman film. I would not have been at all surprised to see a super hero or two swinging past our abode. It was breathtaking. I took this photo with my Blackberry.
The apartment was far too male orientated for my tastes. My straightening iron didn’t get nearly as lava hot as usual with my travel plug, and there was no mirror within reach of the electricity socket. I naturally bought myself an American GHD and hair dryer to store there, and arranged for a perfect art deco dressing table and mirror to be installed into the bedroom. I tossed that dreadful painting (which James bought last summer for a laugh) under the bed and have ordered an enormous canvas of my book cover to be installed in the living room. I would hate for anyone to think that James didn’t have a wife when he is away on business. It would end my life if some minx considered my man to be her Mr Big...
I shall be visiting New York on a regular basis from now on (at last a holiday home!!!), it is simply the only place to stock up on Marc Jacobs and DVF after all (sigh...).
NOTE TO SELF: Order enormous high definition TV for house in Alleyn Road at earliest convenience. (This will do more for my self esteem than Botox!)
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
I am popping a bottle this evening. Tonight my little bloglet is one whole year old!!! I really feel the need to celebrate.
This night last year I had my PA Lydia start my blog for me, having read an article about blogging in a newspaper on the way home from work (Lydia is always just a phone call away, and I am a complete technophobe). I am more than delighted with the wonderful new world that blogging opened up for me.
Before blogging, I was working full-time, with two darling children to juggle and no social life at all (James is always away on business) and only sulky au pair girls for company. Now I have super blogging chums (I still miss Drunk Mummy ... sniff, and where has Rilly disappeared to of late?) like Nunhead Mum of One, Lady MacLeod, Mother at Large, Frog in the Field, Pig in the kitchen, Ingenious Rose, Elsie Button, Debio and many more ... even a natural blonde and a midwife!!!(I never!). I have even made some super groovy organic friends in East Dulwich, and had a flirtation with a superhero!
I am delighted with my shiny book deal, and my two columns, my free skin care and cosmetics and this weekend I am off to review a Spa!!!
If you haven't started a blog of your own yet - do it, it really is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Monday, 12 November 2007
I am becoming the departmental Agony Aunt! I just can't bear it...
This morning my big boss's young second wife wept all over my copy of Red Magazine. Apparently when she delivered young Tyra to her smart nursery school this morning, Dannii was chastised by the head teacher who had been waiting especially to see her.
Little Tyra has been overheard using a very VERY bad word..., several times!
She has used "The N word," no less! I must be living in a parallel universe, because I could not even pretend to know what was being implied by the use of the phrase "The N word!"
"The N word" refers to the fact that Tyra said that another child was "Naughty" for pushing and shoving (very naughty behaviour if you ask me...)!!!
When did "Naughty" become a bad word? (Am I allowed to use the word "bad" anymore?) Apparently, it is no longer PC to say that something is a naughty act (please take note Super Nanny, no more Naughty Step permitted!). Now we are only permitted to say that undesirable behaviour is "not nice"!!!
There are not enough hours in the day for this type of meddling with our minds. The ice bergs are melting, children are starving, our oil reserves are depleting and yet valuable energy is being spent vilifying parents for using the word naughty!
No longer is it adequate for us to strive to ensure that our poppets avoid pesticides, allergens, sugar and salt, take their supplements and have enough immunisations to equip them to walk bare foot through the Amazon river. It is so terribly difficult to be a parent, to be one of the workers at the coal face (so to speak) enduring this constant barrage of criticism.
Now, I really must text my au pair and make sure that she gets in some organic celeriac for my poppets' supper...
Friday, 9 November 2007
This morning my super PA Lydia burst into my office and wept openly about the dreadful calamity which had befallen her first thing in Tooting! The poor baby had been making her way to the tube station when a drunken wastrel had cornered her and insisted that she handed over her money and jewelry!!!
Super techno Lydia handed over her cash willingly (£2.73 in total, apparently) and resisted surrendering her trinkets to the vagabond as one piece was her grandmother's engagement ring... Lydia related to me how she had insisted to the vagrant that the adornments were not made from precious metals and that the stones were merely cubic zirconia. The bandit inspected her rings closely and fell for her story, leaving Lydia with the precious trinkets intact.
"OHMYGOD Lydia!!!" I cried.
This was outrageous, I couldn't quite believe what she was telling me.
"You should be ashamed of yourself." I accused...
I have tried so hard with this girl, encouraging her to have regular manicures, to purchase good quality hosiery, and discouraging her little trips to the footwear department of Primark etc.
"Get yourself some hand cream and some self respect!!!"
Can you believe that the girl was happy about her ability to convince a vagrant that she looked cheap???
Friday, 2 November 2007
This afternoon Annabelle (a work colleague of my husband’s) and her son arrived for a play date with my munchkins. Annabelle lives in Chiswick, and cannot usually be convinced to visit us as we live in South East London. Annabelle’s son Hugo (a pale boy with a constantly runny nose) is the same age as Max, and the two boys have forged a firm friendship, meeting regularly at birthday parties.
Annabelle always seems to vying for supremacy with me regarding parenting, showing off about the organic/free range fare that she succeeds in convincing her poppet to consume. Hugo hasn’t yet had a single immunisation (so I naturally consider him to be an infection hazard) and he is constantly popping homeopathic tablets into his mouth (e.g. for shock, runny nose, general exuberance, bad manners, an allergy to camels fur etc).
Max had described the delights of Telegraph Hill Park to Hugo, and so we set out to spend the afternoon there in my Audi Q7. I happily volunteered to drive for 20 minutes to reach our chosen location, tunes from the sing the times tables CD providing entertainment for the journey.
Telegraph Hill Park really is a super play area, with an amazing slide set into a hill – the children are not required to negotiate any precarious steps to reach the top. The swings and play frames are all imaginatively built, and it really is super special.
When we parked on a side road, I suddenly noticed Annabelle’s mouth was hanging open.
“Whatever is the matter Annabelle,” I enquired innocently (I feared she had suffered a stroke).
“OHMYGOD!” She shrieked, “tell me you have not taken us to the London borough of Lewisham … please, please tell me, we are not in ...New Cross, OHMYGOD” she howled clutching her chest.
“Well I really don’t know which borough we are in, it is next to Peckham I think, but I have kept the doors locked the whole time, I was being careful,” I soothed.
“You have gone too far,” she bellowed. “You are quite simply too blasé with regard to your children’s welfare,” she said. “Living in South London is one thing, but this, this is the front line!”
“This is a conservation area Annabelle, I am sure that some perfectly lovely people live around here” (although I must admit, I do know a real minx that lives just up the road…).
“You will be holding your children’s birthday parties in MacDonald’s next, and wearing imitation Ugg boots” – she accused. “The presence of crumbling Victorian housing stock, the odd blue plaque and the absence of net curtains does not a respectable area make!”
At this point I suddenly became aware of the dialogue between our six year old boys in the back of the car.
“I have, yes I have,” shouted Hugo, “I have seen a grown up horror film. I have a TV in my bedroom, and the nasty man made a dress out of ladies skin. The film is called something to do with sheep…” asserted Hugo enthusiastically.
“Indeed, I shall take you home immediately,” I conceded. “I am so sorry for exposing you to such horrors. The film is called Silence of the Lambs Hugo, and yes Max, Hugo has evidently seen it, and no you may not as you are only just six years old…”
I would imagine that Annabelle was ashamed and embarrassed; she didn’t say another thing all the way home. It is terribly difficult to evaluate her non verbal communication; her face rarely moves after all, it is choc full of toxins!
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Where do I begin?
I have just returned from a surprise shopping trip to New York, arranged by my darling husband to mark my (sniff) fortieth birthday (whimper...).
Actually, I had an absolute ball.
I just love New York. From now on, I shall consider Maddison Avenue to be my spiritual home. Barneys is simply the best store in the entire Universe. I once loved Brown Thomas in Dublin in a very similar way – it was opulent, cutting edge fashionably lovely, and yet intimate. Now it has become simply too large and far too “bling.”
I could blog about New York for weeks, and I probably will…
When we arrived at Heathrow, I instantly saved £300 on a handbag in duty free – and that was before I even left the country!!! James looked moved to emotion when he saw me hand over his credit card. Michael (at Barneys in Maddison Avenue) similarly caused James to display emotion, when he completely updated my make-up bag, tossing all of my current products into a nearby bin.
Apparently 'smokey eyes' are incredibly last year, and if I am to be saved from being captured in a make-up time warp (similar to Barbara Cartland), I must ensure that I keep my look constantly updated. I purchased new make-up brushes and skin care and everything!
I was instructed that a clean line of liquid black eyeliner and neutral lid colours are the way to go. A top quality mascara is a must, false lashes or extensions are just too fiddly for me, and so this super new Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara from Elizabeth Arden was purchased – it looks just amazing nestling in my make-up bag (sigh). In fact, download this voucher and get one for yourself, it really is the Winter must have. I am super thoughtful and brought back gifts for everyone (although I admit - mostly for myself).
I eventually bought about ten different types of Spanx and Crocs with warm sheep skin insides for my munchkins to wear in winter. I am always thinking of my poppets afterall.
Many of the women in New York appeared to have identical facial features, and could have passed for close family - instead of wind swept London hair, they had wind tunnel facial expressions – it should stand as a lesson to us all. Perfect (new best friend and make-up artist) Michael encouraged me to carefully observe the women of New York, and try to imagine what Princess Diana would look like today if she had not died so tragically. She would have been lifted and injected into oblivion by now he insisted!!! What a terrible thought… I have just been looking at the recent photos of Gillian Taylforth in Hello (OHMYGOD!).
Americans are so very friendly indeed, Michael even offered me his “cell number” for emergencies – I immediately hopped down from my high stool at the make-up counter and headed for the door. Open prisons and day release schemes are all very well and good, but this man had his hands on my face!!! I can see the merit in allowing prisoners to weed parks and break up stones, but I understood that they kept them tethered in chain gangs.
Large numbers of wealthy, powerful looking men were to be observed in Manhattan, walking behind their women in a very subservient way (prrr). They were pushing black Bugaboo prams with hot big pink hoods, tiny doglets stored in the parcel tray beneath the infant, both passengers (baby and dog) dressed to the nines for mummy's shopping trip.
I have decided that I am going to have a baby. I shall buy a super new pram, and I may even purchase a small dog! These accessories shall send the message to the world that my man is taken. Now all I have to do is work out a way to get James to push the pram for me around Dulwich!
Note to self: Inform Ana that I am adopting her baby. She may then return to her community in Lithuania free from the shame of single parenthood. I get to keep
James’ Ana's baby, and therefore his fortune shall remain untapped by feral au pair girls!!! Hurrah.
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Tonight my mother Brenda breezed in unannounced for a quick visit following her Roman Catholic book group. She enjoys the opportunities the group affords her to snoop around other people's houses and I am sure she secretly considers it a slightly cosier version of Through the keyhole...
While I was supervising the munchkins' bath time, she donned some marigolds and began to clean out my fridge;
"I can't abide a grubby fridge," she said - she really is so very supportive (grrr). While I was still upstairs I heard her shriek with laughter, and when I eventually came down she was belittling some of my fresh chilled products.
"What in the name of God and all of his Saints and Angels is this?" she laughed. "It is just rice pudding with jam tarted up! What are you like?" she scorned.
"Oh mother, I don't care what it is as long as it keeps everyone happy," I said popping the carton of vanilla risotto with raspberry coulis back into the chiller cabinet.
I would never dream of telling her what I read the other day in The Daily Telegraph, it would break her heart. Brenda always wears a special medal containing one of Padre Pio's dried up blood flakes...nice!
Ana has been enjoying her puddings rather a lot lately, indeed her little fingers have swelled up like tiny cocktail sausages.
Saturday, 20 October 2007
I must apologise for my blogging hiatus of late. I have been simply run off my feet!
Along with meeting various work deadlines, and ensuring my munchkins are appropriately occupied for their two week half term school break, I have been wading through great complimentary chests of premium skin care and perfume, offers of sponsorship from prestigious cosmetic companies, organising plans for a regular column on a super prestigious web-site involving the inevitable compulsory regular review of illustrious spa's, and then to top all of that, James decides that he requires my company at some imminent rugby match today in Paris.
I am sitting here typing at my dressing table in the George V, before I scoot off around the shops of gay Paris. I really didn't need to leave London today, but my underwear drawer could do with a little re-stocking, and so I may be back to meet James in time for the match - but it is Saturday, so I have instructed him not to wait about for me. Rugby is just not my thing after all.
I really cannot see what all of the fuss is about, I shall be back in time for the after match dinner (Johnny Wilkinson has fingers the size of Tesco's finest sausages you know). I just hope that England win, otherwise these affairs can be dreadfully somber.
I shall be back on form imminently. Oh how I miss my munchkins, our paths have crossed so little of late. It is terribly difficult being a working mother you know... I think I can feel a headache coming on...
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Earlier this afternoon, myself and the poppets travelled by car to Chelsea Harbour with James in order to liaise with a small group of his clients. The select few consisted of the great and good from the City of London, high powered movers and shakers, esteemed magnates and moguls every last one, all assembled for a corporate rugby jolly to Paris. My casually dressed man (chinos and polo shirt) disappeared up to the suites and emerged ten minutes later from the lift with a selection of louts all clad in white rugby shirts, white wigs, and white grease painted faces with red crosses. They looked like a shameful group of vulgarians.
I naturally greeted them all warmly with a kiss on each cheek while my darling babies cowered behind a nearby sofa.
My husband (a Wales supporter) naturally did not wear the English strip (thank God). He looked so very conservative and dignified in comparison. The men took a cab to Battersea heliport, and myself and the poppets waved them off from a local riverside pub, no longer interested in a trip to the heliport. The munchkins were horrified, and darling Max in particular was more than a little distressed by the tableau he had witnissed.
"I am so very glad papa did not dress like those frightful men," he said.
"I much prefer the way daddy dresses for a rugby match," he continued.
"Indeed," I replied dryly.
When attending a Wales match, James usually wears a red curly wig, red grease paint on his face, a fifties style white dress (full circle skirt) with a busy Welsh dragon pattern, red tights and high heels (sigh).
The children careered about on their scooters for half an hour while I sank a very large Pinot Grigio from the bar... My poor boy will grow up so very soon and be just like his daddy.
Thursday, 11 October 2007
I will never understand why Tesco were granted permission to open a shopping emporium so close to my home. Surely a Waitrose "to go" would have been a far superior option (if such an establishment even existed), even a Sainsbury's "Local" - but well, hey ho, onwards and upwards - these are just more of the daily hardships I endure...
I am rather fond of their Tesco's Finest Chablis though, so I tripped in there for some light refreshments after work this evening when I got off the bus. I really needed a drink.
Hywel (our graduate trainee) has really shocked me this afternoon. We had all been drinking espresso after lunch, and so I naturally took the small metal box of mints from my handbag and offered them around. Hywel looked at me aghast.
"You are offering E's out just like they are sweets," he announced.
Myself and Lydia looked at him in disgust.
"No darling man, these are simply sweets to freshen your breath, what kind of company do you keep?" I asked.
I am not sure at all about that frightful boy. It really has been rather a perplexing day...
Monday, 8 October 2007
Look what the well built chap in black leathers with the motorcycle just delivered to my prestigious corner office! What an amazing way to start the week. I always find it such an anticlimax when they take off their helmets though, don't you?
I have asked Lydia to post an image of my book cover on the blog, and toss the A5 mock up behind a cupboard, I can't have anyone finding out who I am now, can I? The book will be published next April (2008), by The Friday Project!
This is just so exciting! I think I shall go home and lie down... I can feel one of my heads coming on. How will she ever get those tyre marks off the carpet?
Saturday, 6 October 2007
Granzilla will not be visiting us at all over the half term (quelle surprise!). James has informed me on many occasions of her complete aversion to children – her inability to ever offer any practical help or support with childcare. School holidays can be so very difficult for hard working parents.
During her most recent visit however, Granzilla had shocked us all with the news that she has recently won second prize at a local Women's Institute cake baking competition! This was her first ever attempt at baking. James immediately described bitterly how as a boy at boarding school, he had informed his mother of the many boys in his house who would return to school after holidays with tins of delicious home bakes. To my darling husband's dismay, Granzilla had never even tried, and on one occasion turned up for a special school occasion with a home baked cake in a tin informing him;
“Yes indeed this is home baked as requested, although not baked by me… clearly, I bought it at the Parish cake sale this morning.” You just know this is true, don't you.
Granzilla has become a great admirer of Nigella Lawson of late, and has become curious of the “goings on in the kitchen” as she put it.
Grandpa Charles telephoned us this evening to say that Granzilla has absconded to Sandy Lanes for an extended break to include the forthcoming half term, as she needs to recuperate following her dismay at a recent piece of news. Apparently she enquired of the WI – the name of the person who actually won the first prize in the cake baking competition, only to discover that there had been no other entries! OHMYGOD!!!
The judges had been unimpressed by my Monster-in-Law's offering, but not wanting to cause offence (to the only titled Lady in their ranks) they had allocated her second prize!!!
My darling Monster-in-Law has developed a head ache and requires a couple of weeks in the sun to recover.
Monday, 1 October 2007
Parenting is so frightfully stressful...
Just when I have safely negotiated the munchkins into the right schools, ensured that they have completed the correct programme of vaccination, stimulation, diet and exercise, are consuming the appropriate Omega 3 supplements and diligently adhere to an appropriate bath/bed-time regime, it appears that I have been slack ... nay, complacent in one crucial area!
From an article in a recent free magazine (the kind that appears with regularity in the children's school bags) it has come to my attention that I am now to be held responsible with regard to whether my children will grow up good looking! I thought that we could take their good looks for granted as my poppets can draw from a wonderful gene pool (I have a shapely ankle and high cheek bones, and their father a commanding jaw and broad shoulders).
"People with attractive faces consistently achieve more in life, not only because of the way they are perceived by others, but also because of the way that they perceive themselves," says the article.
Fair enough really... but apparently we can not take things for granted... Horror of horrors - the publication in Freya's school bag has brought to my attention that pretty young children can develop "flat cheeks, large noses and receding chins - causing them to look less attractive and damaging their self esteem." If their jaws grow forwards they can look attractive - but God forbid they grown downwards - resulting in them looking plain!!!
Surely whether this happens is in the lap of the Gods?
The article insists that parents should be vigilant for signs of weak jaw muscles, thumb sucking or children allowing their mouths to hang open - "be gentle but firm" - with the children it insists... Lots of warning photos of unattractive tots are used to back up the argument (who in their right mind volunteered photos of their poppets for this article?) Apparently jaw surgery and tooth extraction may be required to rectify any damage resulting from maternal complacency!
Clearly, I have been far too slap dash in my approach to parenting, pulling fingers from their noses, discouraging them from picking their teeth, sucking their hair or slouching... Apparently "flat unattractive cheeks" can be caused if a child sucks their teeth - they can even end up with "droopy eye lids"...
"Stop sucking your teeth" I should shriek - "or you will grow up ugly..."
Seek advice and support soon, or your children are doomed! OHMYGOD!!! There are not enough hours in the day... I must hand in my notice at work this very day.
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
My lovely neighbour's son Alexi has been spending rather a lot of time in my home of late. I empathise with the boy, his mother was so traumatised by his recent GCSE failure but I am happy to provide the cub with a place to unwind and clear his head after a hard day at school.
Alexi has expressed great interest in my writing, and been begging me to allow him to read a draft of the book which I am currently working on. Melissa says that he should only be allowed to read his school texts in my home, but I must admit that I have been terribly flattered that a trendy young teenage chap should show interest in the musings of an average working mother like myself... It makes me feel good to think that I can tickle his sense of humour and gain the attention and respect of a young person.
This evening I was standing in my en-suite wet room, applying a spritz of Lime, Basil and Mandarin and powdering my nose before the munchkins' bath time. Alexi was pleading with me for access to my text from the doorway, when my darling husband James returned home uncharacteristically early from work.
"Haven't you got some Skelextric or something to play with?" He demanded of Alexi (rather rudely to my mind).
I was not very impressed, and chastised James for his rudeness later when we were alone. "Young boys like to adopt grown-ups other than their parents as role models," I insisted. "Haven't you read Raising Boys?"
"Silly Bea," he scoffed, "Alexi is sixteen, and the word 'sex' is in the title of your book. I dare say I have a good idea why he is so interested in it. I should like to read it myself..."
OHMYGOD! I really am terribly naive you know. It hadn't even occurred to me before... I really should keep young men away from the environs of my bedchamber in future.
Friday, 21 September 2007
Snap… Snap… Snap…
The top floor of the Number 3 Bus is empty this evening as I climb up the stairs and sit in the front row. I sometimes like looking out, peering down from the upstairs front window at the poor precarious racing cyclists below. But…
Snap… Snap… Snap…
There the noise goes again. OHMYGOD... I know what I think it sounds like, but I am not a bad minded person – no, I refuse to believe it could be. I refuse to let my imagination run away with me but;
Snap… Snap… Snap… PING!
Something small hit the glass in front of me. I dare not look around to see where the “snap” has “pinged” from.
Snap… Snap… Snap…
Instead, I gaze down at the floor of the Number 3 Bus as it zooms up Croxted Road – on the home strait now, soon I will be in Dulwich.
Indeed, a small crescent shape, embellished with metallic purple paint lies on the floor to the left of my feet. I curl my lip, this is really rather ghastly… Let me out of here. I dart for the stairs… but glance back as I go,
Snap… Snap… Snap…
A lone female passenger is perched a couple of rows behind me, cutting her toe nails!!! I thought that there was nothing new at all that these people could do to shock me - not any more.
I ask you, whatever would posess anyone to wear such a loathsome colour?
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
"Its all about me."
"Really?" I replied to James. "How frightful for you darling! Are you sure you are not just being paranoid?"
"No," he said, "your blog is all about me and I have checked - you had 997 hits today! I am the laughing stock of the entire locality."
"Darling man, how dreadful for you, but it is my name on the cheque, isn't it? So, it really is all about me you know. I think I shall buy a super new Mini Clubman in canary yellow with my advance from the publisher..." (Financial freedom really is rather liberating!)
"I feel so exposed," he bellowed out after me into the hall.
"Well you should draw the curtains when you put the lights on in the lounge darling, and do tuck your shirt into your trousers. I am off to Cafe Rouge with Vashi, your dinner is in the microwave - cheerio."
Whatever does he mean "the entire locality"? - I get hits from a large number of readers in the Gulf, the USA, Australia, Canada, Morocco and France too. I think he will find that they are talking about him from further away than "the entire locality"!
Mmm, I wonder if I should invest in plantation shutters?
Friday, 14 September 2007
I am so glad that the weekend is finally here. I am quite simply exhausted.
In the middle of the night on Wednesday I was sure I heard an intruder in our house, and as my darling man was snoring his head off beside me – I decided not to rouse him for fear of the consequences… I straightened up my La Perla silk night dress, donned the matching pure silk dressing gown, brushed my hair (added just a touch of lip gloss) and flounced cautiously down the back stairs.
Light was streaming from the fridge door and someone was rummaging noisily within it! Indeed, the cheeky scamp was actually warming a pizza in my oven!!! My heart almost stopped, and I immediately darted for the cover afforded by the minimalist Poggenpohl kitchen island (with poured concrete surface). OHMYGOD!!!
I thought to myself – “I must take action, I must protect my munchkins and darling man from evil hungry intruders.” I grabbed a lengthy French stick which was poking out of the bread bin and sprang out to attack the intruder – screeching aggressively as I vaulted. I was making short work of this frightful criminal too (with not a jot of concern for my own personal safety I should add), when my darling husband pulled me from the bulky intruder.
It was actually Ana, our au pair! Ramadan has begun, and so the poor child was trying to have her first meal of the day by 4.00 am, she cannot let a single nutritious morsel or sip of fluid pass her lips until 7.30 pm each evening! I so wish that she had simply warned me. I almost strangled her with a French stick!
You know there really is nothing I would not do to protect my young family...
I really love Pizza Express ready to cook Pizza, so I took it to bed with me, and told Ana not to worry about cleaning up the remnants of the French bread until the morning, but on second thoughts I was far too lenient. The fragments of crust get simply everywhere…
Monday, 10 September 2007
I found my PA Lydia in the kitchen at work this afternoon scrubbing my cup before coffee break. “No, no, no” – I scolded. “You should never have do that... Your hands and nails should never be used as tools. Get some money from petty cash and go buy yourself some Marigolds and a dish mop.”
This evening after work I took Lydia to The House of Fraser for a manicure. I try to be a good role model and general super big sister to her, and used a favoured phrase of my mother's “You reap what you sew” sweetie, when Lydia appeared shocked by the price of our treatments. It was my treat, so I paid (clearly), and I was keen to point out that if a girl ensures she appears top quality, she will attract a top quality husband...
Lydia has been describing to me the horrors of her dreadfully ineligible young man. Any chap who refers to a lady’s lingerie as her “under crackers” and drinks beer straight from a can, is simply NOCD (not our class darling) and certainly not marriage material. “Dump him,” I insisted…
We were sitting next to each other in the middle of the sales floor (these nail bars really are dreadfully open and exposed) fingers and toes submerged in bubbles, occasionally sipping grande latte from paper Starbucks cups when I noticed to our left two enormous black leather arm chairs. You know the type of chair that reclines and the foot rest comes out (dreadful ugly things). Women were actually queuing up for “threading”(a super thorough plucking type of depilation – usually for eyebrows). It is simply all the rage…
Words cannot express the horror I experienced when I realised one of these customers actually having the whiskers on her chin removed in the middle of this open shop floor!!! The young girl carrying out the treatment was virtually perched on the customer’s chest without so much as a screen to spare the customer’s blushes!
I am sooo not joking when I tell you that I almost hyperventilated with horror. An open shop floor in an Oxford Street department store really is not the time or the place! What is going on? Had the customer lost her mind?
Which is more humiliating do you suppose, actually realising you are growing a beard, or having it removed in a public place for all the world to see? I grabbed my latte and my PA and left the House of Fraser before the said customer could present her bikini line for depilation – what has happened to our culture? Where is the refinement and beauty?
Well, I can safely say, I shall cling on to the remnants of civilisation right here in perfect Dulwich…
Friday, 7 September 2007
When Helena first suggested that I join her book group – I must admit I winced and immediately began to rummage in my enormous handbag in order to distract her while I tried to think of an excuse… “Oh you must come,” she insisted, “it is at Eliza's house this month, and she has just had a super Bang and Olufsen home cinema and home integration system installed – I am dying to take a look. It will be my turn next, and I have just had my back garden landscaped to accommodate a tennis court. It really is a hoot, just like an alcohol fuelled version of the PTA – but with none of the teachers, a pure gossip fest.”
I immediately saw my opportunity, and insisted that the reason I had declined an invitation to join the PTA was because of a personal suspicion that I may already be alcohol dependent and if the book group was actually worse than the PTA, all could soon be lost...
“I have managed to get permission from the inner circle for you to join this group Bea, if you don’t come along, it will be interpreted as the most hostile of snubs – you simply are not allowed to decline this offer.”
I had no choice, I agreed to attend and I must admit – I was not looking forward to it at all. I never ever read anything for pleasure, that is not printed inside the cover of The Style supplement of The Sunday Times, or the Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine.
I received an email from Helena informing me that the book of choice this month was In Search of Adam by Caroline Smailes, and so I sent the au pair to pick up a copy last week from Dulwich Books.
I must say, this book has been a complete eye opener for me. Caroline Smailes writes so very beautifully, I wept all over my dry clean only 100% silk Allegra Hicks Kaftan as I turned the pages (there was mascara everywhere, darn). It was a completely gripping book and touched me on so many levels. I found myself creeping out of bed at 3am to finish the text on the first night. My thoughts have been filled with the story, and also with admiration for the writers skill and talent – ever since...
Eliza pounced on me at the school gates this morning. "Are you coming to my house tomorrow for our book group then?" She demanded.
“Well, I said, I am really not sure that I am ready to discuss this book yet. It is a life changing text, I need to digest it, reflect on it. My emotions are still so raw, it touched me on so many levels,” I replied – my eyes once again filled with tears.
“Really? Gosh,” replied Eliza. "I was hoping to take a quick leaf through in the bath tonight after I ordered a couple of crates of Chablis from Majestic Wines. You really want to discuss literature then?" she said curiously.
"Oh yes, yes indeed. But not yet. I am not ready to discuss it yet," I replied, my voice filled with emotion...
"Darling girl, I don’t think you would enjoy our book group at all. It really isn’t your type of thing," she barked.
I am so relieved. I would like to thank Caroline Smailes personally. I would also like to give credit to my PA Lydia, who actually read the book for me and gave me notes, direction and motivation to carry off this act with confidence. I may even read this book you know, it really sounds incredible, but you know, I am deeply, deeply superficial!
I have been let off the hook...
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
James has been reading The Evening Standard Magazine again. He thinks he is all the rage, and up to date with everything current in the world of arts and media after just ten minutes undisturbed with last week's glossy Friday Magazine.
I was telling him all about the horrors of the school gate mafia this evening, pouring out my heart, assuming that he understood my angst - when he had the cheek to tell me that we are all suffering from "Affluenza in Disturbia"! The cheeky devil!
I couldn't think of a witty rebuttle, so I simply reached down and put his plate straight into the dishwasher and turned it on.
Did I forget to mention that James hadn't eaten his supper yet?
Monday, 3 September 2007
My darling neighbour Melissa telephoned me a week ago, filled with woe and sorrow. Her divine son Alexi had received his GCSE results, and all hopes for a future career in banking appear to have been dashed.
"Alexi got a 'C' in business studies," she wailed.
I really did not know what to say, she was devastated...
This evening I met Melissa at the train station and the sobbing and screeching has finally subsided, however her eyes were still swollen from sobbing and she appeared pale from lack of sleep. I asked; "What about his other subjects darling friend - how has Alexi fared overall?" trying to sound sensitive and not overly optimistic.
"He got ten A stars," she said, "Mostly in damned science subjects...OHMYGOD he will be the bottom of the heap. How will he provide for a family? Everyone knows that medicine pays a pittance..."
"The poor boy," I agreed, feigning horror. "Never mind, perhaps he could still get into a good university if he does well at A level."
James says Melissa has dulwichmumitis!
Thursday, 30 August 2007
This morning my two darling munchkins started big school! Hurrah!!!
These holidays run on for far too long if you ask me. The poppets needed a break, but my word, did it have to go on for months on end? Half of Dulwich is back on Prozac.
By 8.30 A.M. the locality was at a complete standstill, there are nine independent schools within a one and a half mile radius of the cross roads, and so once again we had grid lock, what a relief! The schools threw open their doors and calm can return to SE21.
Both of my darlings were wearing a uniform for the first time. Max has now officially finished nursery and Freya has moved to a new all girls school around the corner. Max looked like a little version of his papa in his super tie and grey shorts. I was so proud, and really rather tearful.
Freya looked like a darling doll - her blonde curls cascading over her shoulders, her crisp tiny shirt and tie, one knee sock dangling at her ankle...
Everyone was kitted out in appropriate attire including new uncomfortable shoes, (mine really cut into me and I may just take them back to Emma Hope for a refund...) I had my diamonds specially cleaned at Tiffany in Sloane Square on Saturday and bought another new handbag for the occasion.
The school bullies were out in force, I shrieked with delight to see them - well one must really make the effort. I graciously declined coffee dans le village, immediately turned and fled out of the gates heading to the train station for fear I would hyperventilate with an anxiety attack.
I almost knocked sweet pregnant Imogen over as she was tearing out of Max's school from the other direction, and she immediately stopped and remarked on the blinding sparkles from my jewelery. "Oh they look really amazing today," she said, "I must insist that my husband buys me an eternity ring when our family is complete in a few months time. That is the form is it not? When our last child is born I am entitled to more diamonds - it is the law."
"Why indeed no," I replied in hushed tones, James was still close by positioning Freya with his long lens and camera next to a bicycle rack. "I acquired my eternity ring when I was pregnant with my first child, I told James it was a maternity ring, a reward for being pregnant."
She initially looked shocked, and then laughed and insisted that I am a very funny and quick witted person.
Oh how we laughed and laughed... before we both ran away from the schools as fast as our legs could carry us.
Actually I was being completely serious. I told James that men bought their wives maternity rings when they were pregnant with their first child...
Poor abandoned James texted me fifteen minutes later to say that Freya went into school with no objections at all! The school gates really are the most terrifying place...
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
My mother visited unannounced yesterday afternoon. The school summer holidays are drawing to a close and the munchkins are a trifle bored. Max was pounding on the piano while Freya terrorised the au pair, careering about our open plan toy strewn home on her go cart. I was feeling a tad worn out and not quite my normal composed, meticulously groomed and perky self (I was shrieking like a fish wife).
Brenda was horrified by the scene, to her - image is everything. "When I was your age I was a widow with four young children, no dishwasher and no au-pair, how dare you look so disheveled, you have it all!" she scolded. "You should be praising God himself for your wealthy Protestant of a husband, and on your knees to Our Blessed Virgin Mary for your profusion of household appliances."
"Oh Mother darling" I replied. "Don't you remember, didn't you have a parlour to hide in? A panic room of your very own? Why I didn't even know there was an additional reception room in our house until I was a teenager, no children were ever allowed in! You had your own clean and private child free adult space to hide in. Open plan living is the devils own creation," I explained.
"That is indeed true" said Brenda. "And your Aunty Lou lived just up the road, we were great support to each other. In my day, all the mothers smoked to keep their stress levels down, and we took buckets of Tamazepam and would hide in the parlour for hours on end to calm our nerves... I could beat my children to my hearts content with a slipper or even a sweeping brush. Indeed, those were the days, you poor love."
I felt really close to her then, and I thought she might even embrace me. Instead, Brenda handed me a cork screw, pointed to the wine chiller, said "Damn the Scandinavians" and scurried out of the house...
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
My perfect boy Max climbed into bed beside me this morning, gave me the most super long hug and announced; "When I am a big man, I shall leave for work every morning just like daddy, but I will say goodbye to my wife Saskia (they are so very much in love) and pop next door to your house, climb into bed beside you and give you a big bear hug all day long..."
He is simply the most darling poppet!
When I arrived in work, Hywel our twenty four year old graduate trainee was standing by the photocopier in one of his outrageous acrylic suits. I could not help but share my tale of maternal pride with him. His reply was rather alarming...
Hywel listened to the story (as indeed he should as I am so very senior indeed) and then said with a completely dead pan expressionless voice "my last girlfriend never understood my relationship with my mother..."
Was he joking? I just could not tell...
Friday, 24 August 2007
I was tottering around the kitchen this morning in a super pair of Miu Miu Wedges, when James had the absolute cheek to accuse me of spending too much money on clothes!
“OHMYGOD… Whatever are you saying?” I asked, tears springing from my eyes…
“When did you buy those? Is that a new bag too?” He accused…
“I cannot believe you are being so cruel,” I sobbed. “You genuinely never notice a single thing about me. I have had these shoes for almost three years, and the bag?… That bag was a gift from my mother at Christmas over two years ago,” I sniffed. “When was the last time you really noticed me, when did you actually really take a look? And I try so very hard to look good for you, seeking just a morsel of attention from your table. All you care about is stocks and shares.”
Naturally James was shamed and filled with remorse, he gets so very stressed each time he writes the annual cheques for the school fees.
I sit here in my capacious office, sipping a Grande Latte from my enormous brushed steel thermos cup (my PA Lydia really is a doll, and looks after me far too well), smiling at the enormous arrangement of roses and herbs which have just been delivered from Paula Pryke. It is completely tragic that an apology is the only reason my husband sends flowers.
I so love shopping on the Internet, and I am so very grateful that the recycling truck turned up and removed my super Net a Porter packaging at ten to eight this very morning.
A girl must be so careful to dispose of the evidence, and I so often find that attack is the best form of defence…
Monday, 20 August 2007
This morning as I was preparing to wave my munchkins off to their daily summer camp with the au pair, darling Max asked me if he could have a "special present for being such a good boy," when he returns home this evening...
"Why of course you can diddums," I chirped. "Now tell me what you would like, a Spider man comic, a frozen yogurt, a great big kiss on your perfect nose?" I suggested.
"I would like some Immodium Melts,"said my poppet...
"I very beg your pardon darling boy," I demanded. What would possess my perfect five year old man to ask for anti-diarrhoea medication?
"Well," he replied, "it says on the TV that they melt in your mouth and help you enjoy your holidays"!
OH MY GOD!!!
Perhaps a sharp letter to the ombudsman is in order. Don't you think? No sooner have they removed advertising for junk food from morning television, when the powers that be encourage my darling boy turn to drugs!
NOTE TO SELF: Ana our au pair has become far too lazy of late - ten minutes of children's programmes each morning is clearly excessive...
Friday, 17 August 2007
Who am I to criticize the perfect teachers and their super policies at the darling nursery school my munchkins attended? I am the first to admit that what I know about education could be written on the back of a postage stamp.
I simply wish that I had the courage to ask the teachers to explain the rationale for some of the decisions they have made on occasion, but of course I (along with every other parent at the school gates) am simply terrified of causing offence...
At the recent sports day for example, not a single child was congratulated for winning any of the competitions! Instead, every single poppet who took part received a celebratory sticker. I am not entirely convinced that this complete avoidance of competition is preparing the darlings for real life. Surely we should celebrate any and every aptitude, a child who does not win a sack race will hardly be scarred with a label of failure. Every child is good at something, if it is not reading or writing, it could just be the egg and spoon race!
Consider the consequences of the recent sports day at the nursery school on our holiday to Cornwall for example. One evening after the children's supper the staff of the divine hotel held a party game session in the lounge for the children. Max and Freya sat happily at the coffee table, with their little bingo cards and pens, eagerly ticking off the numbers as they were called. Sweet Freya was incredibly lucky, and won the first line,... and then the first full house... and was bestowed with two successive prizes!
This was simply incredibly good luck. Several of the other children clearly appeared crushed by this, (sigh).
When a new game began and once again darling Freya won the first line, my burly boy Max was devastated by the complete injustice of the situation, tossed his bingo card on the floor his eyes filled with tears and retreated under the coffee table.
"It is not fair mummy," he howled, "everyone should have a turn at winning, this is tewwibly unfair".
The darling boy had a good point, but life is just not fair, and he has been encouraged to feel aggrieved in this situation because occasions such as the sports day have not been utilised to demonstrate the concepts of winning and loosing. The boy is simply not being prepared for life.
In the end, (in order to spare the tiny boy any blushes when he looks back on this occasion as a young man) I was forced to promise to have an enormous play frame built in the back garden upon our return from holiday, just to coax him out!
These super schools - well intentioned as they clearly must be, are simply not preparing these munchkins for real life...